Publication Date


Degree Type

Doctoral Project

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)



First Advisor

Arlene Spilker

Second Advisor

Carl Law

Third Advisor

Patricia Vida


Nurse managers, empowerment, burnout


The purpose of the study is to ascertain the presence of an inverse relationship between nurse managers’ feelings of structural empowerment and self-perception of burnout. Although research is available studying the effects of staff nurse empowerment and burnout, literature is sparse relative to evaluation of nurse manager empowerment and burnout. Of the studies available, there is supportive evidence pertaining to the negative implications associated with nurse manager burnout such as reduced staff nurse retention and morale, decrease in quality of patient care, and financial impact on organizational success. With such negative implications associated with a lack of empowerment and burnout, and with the threat of greater than 60,000 nurse manager vacancies by the year 2020 it is imperative to better understand barriers to longevity in nurse manager positions. This was a voluntary non-experimental quantitative pilot study using a convenience sample of nurse managers and assistant nurse managers recruited through chain sampling. Two validated questionnaire survey tools were combined into one survey and distributed via an electronic survey platform; the Conditions of Work Effectiveness –II questionnaire (CWEQ-II) measures structural empowerment and Maslach’s Burnout InventoryTM measures level of burnout. Although the findings of this research did not demonstrate statistical significance, the research may add to the growing body of evidence supporting the importance of organizational structural empowerment.


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